Last week I celebrated my last Melbourne Cup Race in Australia for a while. Mind you, the fact I’ve never been to Victoria or Flemington Racecourse during Melbourne Cup Carnival never stops me from getting into the spirit!
We had morning tea and lunch at work, where we entered the ‘sweeps’ and I even made a special trip to our local bookies to bet on too many horses. It’s an annual occurrence in Australia and more often than not you will see lads and ladies dressed to the nines throughout Brisbane’s CBD. My hubby’s work even pauses for the entire afternoon and into the evening for a bit of Melbourne Cup race watching and drinks. Such is the nature of the ‘race that stops the nation’.
It’s a tradition I enjoy because it’s so foreign to me. We have a racetrack in Ottawa but it’s mostly frequented for meals and the casino inside. My family farm used to supply horse hay to the trainers but I’ve never once been to the races in Canada. Since moving to Brisbane, we’ve been to a few local race days and I absolutely love it. Getting dressed up, enjoying a day out looking classy and a few drinks with friends is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Staying classy all day is another story for most, I’m afraid to say!
I’m told that horse racing is big in Ireland, many of the horses in this year’s Melbourne Cup were from the Emerald Isle and supposedly, Galway’s major race event of the year every July is not one to be missed.
I wonder if these race days will always feel foreign and mysterious to me or if over time (and a closet full of fascinators), I will feel like I’ve always enjoyed a grand ole day out.